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Knitting and Blocking Franco's Muffler and Living to Cuss About It

I made the Franco's Muffler pattern from Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: Debbie's Favorites!

I brought this project along with me on a family vacation last week because I thought the scarf's two-row pattern repeat would make for some excellent car knitting.  I used #8 needles and Bernat Softeez (the old discontinued type), which is a bulky weight yarn.  The fluffy yarn knitted up quickly and the pattern was undemanding with just enough variety to keep me from falling asleep. 


Always a but.

I should have used wool.  Or at least a wool blend.  But probably wool.  I think wool scarves are just superior scarves, and a scarf pattern with the word "muffler" right there in the title should be knitted with wool if at all possible.  Not if you have a wool allergy.  I feel you.  But like I said, if at all possible and I understand if it's not possible. I used the acrylic because I had quite a bit of it in my stash and I liked this light gray.  I thought the yarn's color and texture would look wonderfully scarf-y (you know what I mean) all knitted up in the pattern.  And it did!  But.

Y'all.  This scarf folds up like a wild cuss word.  The seed stitch strip in the middle pulls the outer sections of stockinette into a bunchy cussing mess.  I'm all for scrunched scarves, but this scarf's pretty stitch pattern was obscured all to cuss by the bunching.  When I first started on this scarf, I thought I would be able to block some of this out. But acrylic just doesn't block like wool does.  No matter how much you want it to.

And I really wanted it to!  I tried to block this scarf one warm afternoon while my little girl napped and the rest of the family was out shopping.  I squeezed the scarf with wet paper towels and laid it out on a clean sheet.  Since I didn't have blocking pins with me, I flattened this out with whatever heavy objects I could find and turned on the overhead fan.

I used to press flowers a lot as a kid. My skills came in handy.

Yes, it was still like that when everyone came back.  I tried convincing my in-laws that this was completely normal behavior, and they just seemed to accept that this was at least normal behavior for me.  And they kept telling themselves that as we ate dinner around it that night.  Even after all that time, the cussed scarf still would not lay flat!

It's not uncommon for me to swear at something as I'm making it.  I'm an uncouth person who lacks imagination and class (this is the part where I assure you I was raised better).  It's just what happens when I'm frustrated or concerned about my project.  It's rare for me to keep going even after I've finished my work and start recounting the experience.  But I'm so irritated!  Wool would not have done this to me!  If you make this pattern--and believe it or not, I think you should because you would like it--YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY KNIT WITH WOOL!  Promise me!  Or at least some kind of other natural fiber that will hold its shape after some blocking.  There are plenty of affordable options out there and this would be beautiful made with anything you could find on sale at your local yarn store.  You'll need about 500 yards or so (stash-buster!) and you'll need something that can block so you can show off your pretty scarf properly.

Note: sorry about the cussing.  It (probably) won't happen again.  At least for a while.  I love this pattern.  I did not let it ruin my fun in the sun and sand.  And lastly, I gave this to my husband's grandmother and she loved it.  Bless her heart.  It's a pretty color, and she'll be able to wrap this up around her neck several times because of the bunching.  (Ugh.)  I'm glad she likes it.

4 thoughts on “Knitting and Blocking Franco's Muffler and Living to Cuss About It”

  • okdubu

    did you try steam blocking?

    • Jen

      I didn't. I wasn't very close to an outlet, and I didn't want to risk knocking over things that weren't mine/burning myself/trying to steam this while parts of it were being held flat. I'm not sure how well it would have worked with the acrylic anyway. For smaller projects, though, I love steam blocking! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Suzy Novoselac

    You poor thing! I've been there, done that too. Nothing more disheartening than to put in a lot of time on a project and not have it turn out as it was supposed to.

    • Jen

      Ha, thanks. My husband's grandmother was really happy with it, but I was ticked that I couldn't get it to stretch out a bit. I guess I could have been sensible and made a gauge swatch, which I might actually do in the future. I'm not a big swatcher, but scarves seem like a big enough time investment to call for some planning ahead. Lesson learned!

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